Wakarusa is home to me. It’s the first music festival I ever attended and I’ve been attending every year since. Apart from that, it only takes me a bit over an hour to get there, yet it completely removes me from my world.
Waka has been getting better year after year, not counting 2012, the year better known as Mudarusa. That was the year I spent less than 24 hours on site, the only set I enjoyed was Of Monsters And Men, Grouplove disappeared from the lineup a week before the festival. Anyway, this year was better than last. Everything looked better, prettier, more colorful. Even the water stations were actual water bottle filling stations (thanks, Klean Kanteen!) instead of regular (and kinda questionable looking) faucets from previous years.
This year I went back to volunteer with Love Hope Strength. I was able to catch a lot of the music I wanted to and got to meet several artists that happened to walk by the LHS table. I got no shame on showing the fanatic side of me.
I didn’t catch any new bands (we were short handed in volunteers), so I only caught my faves and a couple of new bands. The first show I caught was Moon Taxi. Those guys were so great. The sun was still pretty high, so it was hot as balls, but there was still a big crowd (specially for the first day of the fest, which is usually the slower day). That night I also got to see Kopecky (previously known as Kopecky Family Band) and texted @docmurda about it. The reply I got said “You know you’ve seen a lot of shows when you can’t remember seeing Kopecky at Loufest 2014.” I blame the name change!
I didn’t catch any daytime sets on Friday. My first one of the day was Chance The Rapper at 8:30pm. He drew a huge crowd and he kept us entertained. I was really impressed by him. I wasn’t very familiar with his music, but he turned me into a fan. After his set, I walked around with a friend and ended up at STS9 after a couple of other shows that didn’t catch our attention. STS9 was a bit enjoyable. I was super tired, so I went back to camp right after. My camp was super close to the main stage, so I could hear all the music very loud and clear. So I can tell you, STS9 and Big Gigantic are good sleeping music for me. That was not the case Saturday night, when I had to suffer through Major Lazer, who had the late set at the main stage. That isn’t music. If anything it sounds like someone is killing chickens. It was awful.
Saturday, up to Major Lazer, was a great music day. I pretty much wanted to catch every set at the main stage and some at smaller stages, but I was only able to catch Young The Giant, The Roots, and Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals. It was still hot and humid when Young The Giant started their set, but it was so great. Those guys were full of energy and most of us in the crowd danced and jumped and sang along through the whole set. I was right up from for all three sets (no shame, remember). I was completely blown away by The Roots. Those guys were amazing. AMAZING. I really have nothing else to say about that, except that everyone needs this experience. Did I mention it was amazing? So by the time Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals came, I was already in a great place emotionally. They took me higher. I have all of Ben Harpers albums and the ones with The Innocent Criminals (Lifeline and Burn To Shine) are my favorites. Last time I saw Ben Harper, it was at Waka 2011 when he played with Relentless7. I really enjoyed that show as well, but this one was at a different level. I think it fell more personal to me.
I ended up my Wakarusa with Nahko and Medicine For The People set on Sunday. I had a lot of fun at every set I attended… I even cried a little with Ben Harper. But Nahko and Medicine For The People was the set that is going to stay with me forever. It’s what I listened to the rest of the week at work and home. I still cannot get enough. The golden lyrics are just… and the music… and… I just can’t explain. It’s like being in love.
I also learned something important. If I could have a super power, it would be something that would make tall people that stand in front of me (5’2″) at concerts disappear.
I hope you enjoy this photos. I took a roll of film (yes, film) with me and had it cross processed. I am super happy with them. I used one of my lensbaby lenses to take them.